Scientists must worry in public about the dangers of their creations

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    Scientists must worry in public about the dangers of their creations

    The US Department of Defense is ending its contract with cold war-era advisory group JASON. That’s OK – today’s scientists need to air concerns in public, says Audra J. Wolfe



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    12 April 2019

    US Department of Defense logo

    The US Department of Defense has cut ties with a key advisory group

    MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

    By Audra J. Wolfe

    REPORTS circulated last week that the US Department of Defense has terminated its contract with JASON, a cold war-era scientific advisory committee.

    The group was created in the late 1950s, when the department sought help from some ambitious, entrepreneurial academic physicists in the hopes of catching up with the Soviet Union, which had just launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik.

    Instead of studying a topic identified by a specific defence patron, JASON received briefings from various government agencies and then …

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